Lore talk:House Telvanni

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Telvanni and Magic[edit]

Does Great House Telvanni really want to have a monopoly on magic? I seem to recall a quest for them where you're supposed to convince Redoran to get rid of the monopoly the Mages Guild had. Granted, I know that it can be a political move in the hopes of having a monopoly to themselves, but it seems the Mages Guild wants it more than Telvanni does. Furthermore, the Mages Guild seems intent on keeping it. - Organous 19:00, 3 November 2006 (EST)

Knowing the Telvanni, the only time they really respect others is when they need the others to give them something. I'd say they definitely want a monoploy on magic, and probably on power as well. --Ratwar 19:02, 3 November 2006 (EST)
I don't think that's the case. The Telvanni do not seem so interested in global/political power as they are personal power. The central theme behind them seems to be "leave us alone, and if you've got something I want, give it to me." It seems that the Telvanni want individual power and physical possessions (books, artifacts, etc.), not so much about control. Come to think of it, the Telvanni don't even show respect when they want something. They just up and take it. Organous 23:05, 3 November 2006 (EST)
Ahh, but to achieve great personal power, you must achieve both global and political power. In fact, the Telvanni are deploying bands of colonists to slowly expaned their power (ask people about latest rumors, especially in Molag Mar). You are very correct that personal power is highly prized by the Telvanni, but Personal Power can be increased by global and political power. The Telvanni realize this, and while they choose not to focus on political power (which is Hlaalu's area), expansion is on their mind. Master Aryon is the leader of this movement. --Ratwar 23:26, 3 November 2006 (EST)
In the first place, the latest rumors you refer to lead me to a group of pilgrims east of Lake Nabia and northwest of Mount Kand. I eventually found what it was talking about, but only after looking at the official guide. I wouldn't have even known they were Telvanni if it didn't say so right there, and it says they're rogue Telvanni at that. That doesn't sound like they were deployed. -- Organous 14:06, 5 November 2006, edited 14:55, 5 November 2006 (EST)
Now, as for their monopoly thing, I think that's reaching for straws. Any group is always going to try expanding. I'm hesitant to really count the quests where you kill the owners of opposing strongholds, since it's just something the player experiences in all 3 houses the same way. I think Telvanni might be pleased if they had a monopoly, but only as far as anyone with something to market would be. The Mages Guild seems far more interested in maintaining their monopoly than Telvanni is in gaining one.
I have not seen any evidence to suggest Telvanni wants a monopoly. The evidence you have shown so far seems to be based on interpretation, philosophy (which, though perhaps true, doesn't seem to be shared by Telvanni), and/or facts I have not been able to verify. My point is that it really doesn't seem to me like they want it, which means the entry should be changed to reflect this. Since you feel so strongly that they do, though, something along the lines of "they may have an interest" would work just as well. It shows that they could be interested in having a magic monopoly, but does not suggest strong evidence. -- Organous 14:06, 5 November 2006 (EST)
Well, I don't see Redoran attempting to expand, but I do see your point about any group attempting to expand. I really don't understand how you can say that the Telvanni don't want the Mages Guild out of Morrowind (and thus have a monoploy on magical power in Morrowind). They are strongly anti-foreigner as their requirement for a special pass for foreigners to enter Sadrith Mora, even if this policy isn't enforced. Since the Mage's Guild is Imperial, they naturally want them out of Morrowind. As for saying, "they may have an interest", the article already says, "would rather", which doesn't mean they are activily seeking such a monoploy. --Ratwar 15:03, 5 November 2006 (EST)
What characterizes the Telvanni leaders is their individuality and eccentricity. I seem to recall that Telvanni Mages take issue with common people having access to any higher magic. Knowledge is power, and knowledge is not to be shared. Master Aryon is the most liberal of the group and it is he who sets the task to break the Mages Guild monopoly, there doesn't seem to be any general mandate to do so. In regards to Tevanni being an expansionist faction, again it seems there is no common strategy to do so. If you consider that most Mage Lords are many centuries old and not about to give up their positions, it is not surprising that up-and-coming Telvanni seek remote towers to claim their own. Even the stronghold's Tel Uvirith position speaks for this. There just isn't much of a succession of power. -BenouldTC 03:01, 14 April 2008 (EDT)

() After going through the dialogue, at no point do the Telvanni ever express interest in a monopoly. While it could be reasoned that they would want one, it would be an extrapolation. The argument could also be made that is it even necessary to mention that they would prefer a monopoly? Personally, I'm sure they would like a monopoly on magic as much as the Hlaalu would like to have a monopoly on trade and that the Redoran would like to have a monopoly on training weapon skills. In fact, I'm sure every faction would like to have a monopoly on whatever their focus is, as well as every merchant in the game, for that matter. What is expressed is the Telvanni's issue with the Mages Guild monopoly on magic and the Telvanni's desire to see it broken. The Mages Guild has a quest to kill someone else for teaching magic, recruit a Telvanni or kill him, and another to kill all of the Telvanni councilors, all to maintain the monopoly. There is simply no Telvanni equivalent to any of these quests outside of mod created ones, and as I'm writing this I'm noticing that the Mages Guild seems more ruthless than the Telvanni are portrayed as being. Regardless, it simply isn't said that the Telvanni want a monopoly, and the mention in the article has been removed. Peterpeterohsofeeter 02:52, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

As a post post thought, it should be remembered that we are talking about the mentality of the house and not individual members. While one would assume there would be Mages Guild members that would not approve of the Guild's rigid enforcement of the monopoly, the mentality of the Guild is that it should exist. Similarly, while one would assume that there would be Telvanni members that would like to see a Telvanni monopoly on magic, it is not stated that that is the mentality of the house. Peterpeterohsofeeter 03:01, 28 June 2011 (UTC)


This article could do with some serious improvement. I have added sections on slavery and have expanded the existing paragraphs. (HMSVictory 15:59, 6 November 2007 (EST))

I have been reduced to answering my own comment here! Anyway, I have drastically improved the template itself, correcting grammar, expanding the used vocabulary and adding in new lines. I hope the process will continue, even id I am the only onw operating it. (HMSVictory 11:58, 21 November 2007 (EST))

Lymdrenn Tenvanni's Journal / Brand-Shei's life??[edit]

It seems like the last paragraph of this page is mostly paraphrasing this journal, so shouldn't the citation be from the journal, and not given the obscure reference of 'events from skyrim' since it is clearly coming from a specific textual source. Another thing is that the author of this journal is only making speculations about the "fall of house telvanni" and about Brandyl being the "sole living heir of house telvanni" its entirely possible (and very likely) that other Telvanni or 'telvanni heirs' did survive the Black Marsh invasion, because she did not witness the event in its entirety. Also, is it really necessary to go into details about Brand-shei's life? it seems like the article ends in somewhat of a tangent that isnt important House Telvanni's history (i.e. taken in by argonians, settled down in riften, found his lineage, being framed by the thieves' guild). Unless brand-shei does anything to affect the state of House Telvanni in itself, then his life is completely irrelevent to the House Telvanni page. He lived his life mostly as an argornian rather than a Telvanni. Hope 19:04, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree with everything you've written there. It looks to me like the article should end after the story of the ship being wrecked, possibly with a general mention of survivors. Certainly nothing specific. rpeh •TCE 19:18, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't know how to cite the book when it is under Skyrim:Books section and not under Lore.. Hope 19:35, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
"By this account, a single heir of the house survived: Brandyl Tenvanni, son of Lymdrenn Tenvanni, who was found as an infant by Argonians." The last names are 'Tenvanni' should it not be 'Telvanni'? — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 19:04 on 11 October 2012
If you're asking if it's a typo, it's not clear. If you're asking if we should correct it, no. They refer to House Telvanni correctly, suggesting that it was not a mistake. Names change over time; my own family's surname has changed at least a half-dozen times in as many centuries. All it takes is one person who, intentionally or not, starts spelling it differently, and it just sort of sticks. Minor EditsThreatsEvidence 19:29, 11 October 2012 (GMT)

Other Survivors[edit]

I don't think Brand Shei is the only heir to the house. I recall one of the apprentice Mages in the college of Winterhold, the Dunmer female one, I don't remember her name, but I do believe she said she was from house Telvanni, and that she had come to the college like the rest of her house to become a better wizard, and that Winterhold used to be full of Dunmer Emzi43 17:02, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Nevermind, her name is brelyna maryon and, since there is another dunmer with maryon as a last anme in morrowind, in house telvanni, she probably has ties to the house but is not a telvanni Emzi43 19:04, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
I guess it would help if we defined 'heir to house telvanni' lol. I do think she is intended to be of telvanni ancestory which could mean an heir I guess.. We aren't even sure what that means in terms of Brand Shei either though Hope 07:56, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
She is a part of house telvanni. I hate that stupid journal it confused everyone who doesnt understand dunmer ancestry. Brand shei is NOT part of great house telvanni and the great house is still a ruling part of morrowind. That idiot raised by argonians was part of the original family which telvanni doesnt care about ancestry just power. 13:40, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
He was merely the last in the bloodline of the Tenvanni family or clan, fonders of the house. Heir to nobility by ancient dunmeri laws. Back in the day they surely had holdings all across the Telvannis. Alas, a member of the family is not always a member of the house. Just look at the extensive Hlaalu or the Indarys. Ra'athim was a formidable clan or family in Old Ebonheart that belonged first to house Mora and then house Hlaalu. There might aswell be dunmer with the Hlaalu name in other great houses.--The Hlaalu (talk) 18:58, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

"Focusing" on Telvanni[edit]

It is unlikely that the Argonians focused on defeating the Telvanni during their invasion of Morrowind. The quote "revenge for one thousand years of slavery" (or something like that) probably refers to the entirety of Morrowind, not just the Telvanni - the most prolific slavers are the Dres, who resided near the Argonian border. It is most likely that they were wiped out first and the Argonians battled onwards until they reached the Telvanni lands, which were probably some of the last to be taken due to their remote position. — Unsigned comment by (talk) at 11:45 on 21 June 2012 (GMT)

I agree with you, because at this point there is no reference for that statement. It seems like a conjecture based on the fact that we only have lore from the Telvanni perspective. But we obviously don't know the extent of the Argonian uprising, unless there is other available lore that hasn't been mentioned. It certainly doesn't add anything useful to the article in its present state.Hope 20:12, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Why would that be unlikely? The argonians had a HUGE advantage during the invasion. Morrowind was crippled from both the Oblivion Crisis and the Red Year. As far as we all know House Telvanni and house Redoran both took a large blow in the Crisis, and both houses including Dres was wrecked further by the Red Year events. House Indoril surely in complete disarray after the loss of the Tribunal. The Argonians successfully invaded and captured deshaan AND sack mournhold before being stopped by the Redoran. Take a look at the map. The redoran stopped the argonians from sweeping over all of Morrowind, yes, but they could never have stopped them from invading the Telvannis either by foot or by boat. Once mournhold was sacked the argonians likely split up, the east-bound group facing resistance from the crippled Telvanni wizards alone. Telvanni faced annihilation, and survived.--The Hlaalu (talk) 18:48, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Iconoclastic, profane, unconventional[edit]

House Telvanni has been described by Vivec himself as "iconoclastic, profane, unconventional" yet I'm not sure I see it. They are said to have cared about slavery as they see it as an ancient Dunmer right, yet that seems to me to clash with iconoclasm described as by them. Similarly they're said to be profane but I can't recall them ever attacking the beliefs or values of the Tribunal Temple or even the Imperial Cult. Unconventional certainly fits, what with murdering a higher up to take their place and dealing with vampires but the rest doesn't seem to fit. Sorry if there's something I'm missing here but it's been bugging me. Baron Praxis (talk) 08:44, 31 August 2014 (GMT)

Port Telvannis as District Capital[edit]

I understand why it was removed, from lack of in-game evidence, but I just thought I'd mention here why I made that inference when I revamped the page (at least, I think it was something I added.... and it wasn't because of TR3    :P   ).

Port Telvannis' only reference is from the 10th Anniversary Concept Map, on which it is shown as the only large Telvanni city. The only large Redoran city is Blacklight, and the only large Indoril city is Almalexia, and they are both their respective district capitals. There are multiple large Hlaalu and Dres cities, but for both, Narsis and Tear, which are the district capitals, are specifically labelled as Hlaalu and Dres. So the inference – the map seems to specifically show district capitals. Since Port Telvan(n)is is the only large Telvanni city, it must be the Telvanni district capital.

On a side note, that "Note" at the bottom was there as a destination for the redirect out of Lore:Port Telvannis, to specifically state where the name came from. --Enodoc (talk) 11:46, 24 April 2015 (GMT)

If Port Telvannis appears only on this concept map, is it canon at all? As much as I'd love it to be, it seems to be not sufficient. --Vordur Steel-Hammer (TINV1K) 14:36, 24 April 2015 (GMT)
Since it was an official Bethesda release, I think we're treating it as OOG canon, like the Codex map. --Enodoc (talk) 15:32, 24 April 2015 (GMT)
Yep, definitely suited for out-of-game referencing, similar to this map for Oblivion. It's used on at least one other page as well. Although that Codex map is fully canonical, since it was in an official publication rather than some developer concept art. —Legoless (talk) 16:10, 24 April 2015 (GMT)
I don't question using it as an OOG additional source (I've done that myself), I only wonder if things that appear only there should be taken seriously. --Vordur Steel-Hammer (TINV1K) 16:17, 24 April 2015 (GMT)
If it's relevant to an article (as is the case here), it can definitely be mentioned. The existing redirect seems like the best solution to me, since I think it was decided not to have OOG articles in lorespace if it can be helped. —Legoless (talk) 16:19, 24 April 2015 (GMT)
The issue really is that the statement about it being the district capital is original research, no matter how logical it may be. Nothing on the map specifically says that all the cities listed are, in fact, district capitals, so we can't say this one for sure is as well. It's possible that it is simply the largest telvanni city. Plenty of capitals aren't the largest city, particularly in smaller political divisions (look at New York, for example, where the capital is Albany, not NYC). We simply don't know, so it shouldn't be in the article. It isn't all that important to the overall info in the article anyway. Jeancey (talk) 16:27, 24 April 2015 (GMT)
I'd be okay with simply listing it as their "largest city". —Legoless (talk) 16:30, 24 April 2015 (GMT)
It was also mentioned as Port Telvanni and Port Telvanis in Xal-Gosleigh Letters and in Skeleton Man's Interview, so OOG 09:32, 25 April 2015 (GMT)

() I went ahead and readded this note with an additional reference. —Legoless (talk) 22:41, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Telvanni in 4E[edit]

I think the article needs to remove all of the tenvanni journal information as it is stated as fact when the game shows that it is completely incorrect. Either the NPC was afraid because they saw death all around them or a beth writer didn't think about dragonborn and just made that lore up for himself but it was contradicted.

Basically it says that telvanni was targeted by the argonian invasian and was pretty much defeated and it's last stronghold fell leaving behind a single heir. That doesn't make any sense. The argonian invasion only hit the south of morrowind, I doubt they "targeted" telvanni, they probably just hated dunmer period for having slaves and telvanni towers are in remote places and they are powerful wizards. I doubt they could even make it up the towers!

And then in raven rock and the literature and people all say that telvanni is still a leading great house. Which is up to date because hlaalu was removed. Neloth is still alive and appoints you a member so in appears telvanni is alive and well and still ruling part of morrowind.

Another theory I have is that she meant the FAMILY of tenvanni was killed. Great house Telvanni doesn't even inherit positions so it doesn't make sense he would be a "heir" but family of course is. Just like people named Hlaalu a common dunmer surname aren't in the great house neccasarily. Since tenvanni is only one letter from telvanni maybe it was an error or just mutated over time. Telvanni isn't a "noble birth" house just about power so how would he be the sole heir. It might mean the original family lineage.

All in all I think the red year destroying vardenfell and the invasion should be mentioned and then that telvanni and all of morrowind is rebuilding but the great houses still rule. And then go into neloth and what he is doing on solstheim. But the whole part of the argonians destroying the last stronghold just is false information. Lore articles should be factual. The journal has been proven incorrect. The NPC was not right in writing it so it should not be transcirbed into the lore article. Brand shei in general isn't worth mentioning. It's a throw away misc quest in skyrim. If dragonborn never came out we could mention it but now that it has it's obvious that it barely worth mentioning. He was rasied by argonians and can't do magic. It's pointless. He has nothing to do with the house and lore of it himself. 13:08, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

To claim that the Tenvanni journal is outright incorrect isn't the solution. Removing the reference to the Argonian targeting of the house is uncalled for, even if Telvanni does still exist in 4E201. The article is meant to be unbiased. It should state both sources on equal footing and attempt to neutrally reconcile them if possible. It makes a lot of sense to assume that the Tenvanni line was referring to the original house founders rather than the Great House, but to do so is (sadly) speculation and can't be added to the article. —Legoless (talk) 16:43, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah you're right I guess. I just don't understand in any way why that journal says all of that. How would some savage Argonians take out great house Telvanni.. and why wouldn't Neloth mention anything about the house being in ruins. Because it's not.. 22:22, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
I think the best way to handle this is something along the lines of "Some accounts (the journal) say the House was wiped out etc etc, but given Neloth's presence/dialogue and his assertion that the house still exists... it is unknown to what extent the actual damage was". --Jimeee (talk) 20:31, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

() The "House" could refer to several different things: the actual bloodline of the family that gave the House its name (whether or not variant forms of the surname survive in different families - for instance there is both a "Hlaalo" and "Hlaalu" in Hlaalu, with the possibility that Hlaren, Hleran and similar may be variant forms that have mutated from the main family line over time: there is a Tonas Telvani (only one "n") who is a humble boatman in Tel Mora: and while there are no families with the name Redoran, there are Retherans and Rotherans and Rethans and even Rethandus, and the stronghold of Rotheran which may have originally been theirs)... or the term "House" may refer to the greater institution / organisation - and the latter might be considered as being either its people, or the lands, towns and towers that it once controlled. It is now known that Master Neloth had in fact left Morrowind and moved to Solstheim entirely, prior to the invasion and possibly prior to even the Oblivion Crisis, and founded a Telvanni colony there: whose survival may not have been known when the last mainland Telvanni holdings fell to the Argonians. We don't know that House Telvanni was completely fallen: only that the writer of the book *thought* it was fallen (and indeed, Lymdrenn / Brand-Shei may have been the last descendant of the family that gave the House its name): whereas in fact, on Solstheim, the survival of Neloth and his colony in fact may have given the refugees something to coalesce around, and the House a chance to recover its strength, even if without its original founding family. -- JLE 22:04, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Also, the fact that the documented surviving ship (escaping the Argonian attack from the mainland) was called The Pride Of Tel Vos, indicates that Tel Vos had become a place to be proud of, and one worth naming a ship after: and thus, since the town and the tower were nothing without Master Aryon, indicates also that at some point Master Aryon must have been held in respect by the rest of the House. It is therefore probable that Aryon did briefly achieve his ambition of becoming Arch-Mage - in which case his rule must have been short-lived, given that Frathen Drothan held (or claimed) that title in the Oblivion Crisis when he went in search of Mehrunes' Razor at Sundercliff Watch: he may have been either a rival claimant, or Aryon's successor (and possibly his assassin, although Aryon may have died early on in the Oblivion Crisis instead.)

It also seems certain, given Neloth's survival, and the inference that Aryon must have led the house at some time, that the Nerevarine therefore did NOT comply with the request of Trebonius Artorius of the Mages' Guild, to assassinate the Telvanni councillors - although the Morag Tong writ on Therana's life may well have been carried out (if not by the Nerevarine then by another assassin of the Tong): and given her level of madness and senility, it would have been no great loss to the House and possibly even a benefit. Gothren is known to have been killed by the Nerevarine in a formal challenge to a fight, after refusing to name him Hortator. The fate of Mistress Dratha of Tel Mora is unknown: although, given that canon now refers to the Nerevarine as male, it's possible that she may have followed Gothren's lead, refused to approve him and been killed by him - although she may have approved of him, and lived to become just another victim of either the Oblivion Crisis, the Red Year or the Argonian invasion. Of the other powerful Telvanni lords named in Morrowind, Beladas Demnevanni (if he does not appear subsequently in-canon) can be assumed to have perished in the destruction of Gnisis when Red Mountain erupted. Whether Divayth Fyr survived, might seem unlikely - but then he's survived everything else over thousands of years, and he may just have gone even more reclusive than he originally was. (To tell the truth I'm surprised it was Neloth rather than Fyr who ended up as the reclusive Telvanni lord on Solstheim in the game design, but that's the way they wrote it...) -- JLE 22:19, 24 February 2016 (UTC)